A digital poster of five kids doing different things for arbor day

Arbor Day for Kids: 5 Fun Activities to Celebrate Nature

Arya FrouzaanFar

Arya FrouzaanFar

Arbor Day is one of the few multinational days that means the same thing everywhere: “We love trees and would like to see more of them!” It’s also popular in our very own Calgary, celebrated every year on the first Thursday of May.

What better way to celebrate nature together? Every year, we seize the opportunity for a lot of fun and learning for Clever Kids. If you’re looking to involve your little ones as well, you’re in the right place. Here are five ideas for Arbor Day activities for kids that will inspire a lifelong love of trees and the environment.

Plant a Tree Together

Sometimes, the easiest answer is the best one! So, our easy answer to engaging kids for Arbor Day is to get a tree or sapling, pick a spot, and get right into making Earth a greener place. Your kids will love planting a tree because:

1. It’s fun! Most of us don’t go out planting a tree all the time, so it can be new for the kids and great family fun!

2. It’s healthy for kids to get dirty from time to time, and they love it anyways!

3. As the tree spreads its roots deep into the ground, your kid will also feel more rooted in their community.

Don’t know where to start? Stay up to date on the Branching Out program. The City of Calgary provides free training on what tree to plant and where, as well as free saplings!

Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt

Let’s make everything more exciting! Take your kids on a walk-through of a nearby park or forest and challenge them to find different kinds of trees. Encourage them to observe the colors, textures, leaf shapes, and heights of trees. (This can actually turn into a mindful activity, which is great for kids’ psychological health.) Make it more exciting by awarding points for rare finds such as pinecones, acorns, or animal nests or holes.

Here’s a quick checklist for your kids:

✅ A tree with leaves like needles

✅ A tree with smooth bark

✅ A tree with rough bark

✅ A tree with colourful leaves

✅ A tree with cones

✅ A tree with seeds or nuts

✅ A tree with a bird’s nest

✅ A tree with a unique shape

Want some excitement for yourself? Bring a tree identification app like PlantNet and learn something new!

Get Crafty with Your Finds

The scavenger hunt is an excellent opportunity to bring some natural beauty indoors with beautiful crafts. Gather fallen leaves, bark, acorns, and other objects and be inspired by all the things you can do! Here are some ideas to kick things off:

1. Leaf rubbings: Place a leaf under a piece of paper and gently rub a crayon over it. You could see all the intricate veins and patterns!

2. Bookmarks: Fallen leaves, when dried under pressure, can make good bookmarks. Feel free to glue them together if they’re too thin.

3. Wreaths: We sometimes make those at Clever, and they’re always fun!

4. Collages: There’s nothing like a freeform, lovely collage.

5. Twig Frames: There’s also nothing like twigs to frame your collage!

Learn About Local Birds & Animals

A kid’s curiosity never ends, indoors or outdoors! So, there’s no reason not to stay in and use that curiosity to encourage them toward a life full of learning. So, you can read books, watch cartoons or videos, play video games, and invent games of your own to celebrate Mother Nature. (You can also get ideas from our article on Earth Day 2024.)

Your local library or bookstore will be a great place to look for relevant material. Inside Education is also an absolutely fantastic source of information.


That’s it for another fun, wonderful opportunity for the kids. If you do any of the activities above, know that you’re helping your children develop a deeper appreciation for nature. As always, don’t make it too educational. That appreciation goes a long way for a kid, even if they don’t know why! Happy Arbor Day.

We have so many nature-themed activities planned at Clever Daycare. Book a tour if you’re curious about them!

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